ood morning, All,
Our next ERA + SOS Startup Breakfast is April 12th, and for those of you who missed the ER Accelerator Happy Hour last week, Murat will be there and happy to answer any questions you might have about applying and the upcoming session. Breakfast will include famous Fairway bagels, our own fat-free muffins, coffee, tea, juice – and yes, we do know it’s Passover and we will have food on hand to accommodate our members who are observing. . There’s inspiration for you! $15 in advance and $20 at the door. To register: http://bit.ly/GRXHrA and hope to see you there, bright and early. And don’t forget that New York Entrepreneur Week. starts Monday!
Our next SOS 1-on-1 with an investor will be in a couple of weeks and we have a direct pipeline to a group of serious angels whose representative will be at the event. Caveat: you must send us your deck in advance. Your startup must be tech-based, and the focus is on startups who have developed product and are looking to get to the next level, which means, you need the money to get there. Send your deck to email@example.com and we will pass it to investors’ rep. And looking forward to seeing them!
Next, an exclusive SOS Member Offer: Complimentary Admission to NY XPO for Business. Because of our long standing support of the NY XPO for Business we are thrilled to offer YOU COMPLIMENTARY ADMISSION ($15 Value). This offer is not available anywhere else. FREE 1-DAY XPO PASS INCLUDES UNLIMITED NETWORKING & 2 SEMINARS
Date: May 2 – 3 2012
Location: Javits Center Hall 1A – 655 West, 34th Street, New York, NY 10001
For more information and to register: http://bit.ly/PQPDb
Discount code: COMP1
What a Monday, eh? A tech spending spree that had FB shelling out $1 billion for instagram, MSFT shelling out as much for 800 AOL patents, and Cerberus took Yellow Pages business off AT&T’s hands for the bargain price of the day – $950 million. Careful, FB: we remember when Yahoo went on a spending spree back in the day, too. Question is: was it a strategic move, a defensive one, or a very expensive way to aqu-hire talent? 13 employees, no revenue, a million downloads the first day the android app is released (not to mention 5 million in 6 days:http://tnw.co/HxRKx9) . Did Facebook panic? http://bit.ly/Ibbg6v Big winner of the day (besides the 13 Instagram employees and their investors): AOL, whose stock shot up $43.
Speaking of Yahoo, the beleaguered company recently laid off 14% of its work force – about 2,000 people, with reports of more to come. Yahoo began as “a globally-branded Internet navigational service that is among the most widely-used guides to information and discovery on the Web,” according to the company itself, back in the day. Yahoo now calls itself a media company (Yahoo Then and Now: Diagnosing a Sad Decline: http://on.mash.to/HQ7AHl), and former upstart Google leads in search. Google also wants to track your every move, and know where you are, both online and off. Yes, they’re in the search business, but that’s just a bridge too far. Remember Orkut? Friendster? Upstart Facebook came along and became the social network, and one of the largest countries, in terms of population, on the planet. Now they wants to know all about you and everyone you know. With the introduction of timeline, social became secondary and they, too, are losing their way (Selling You on Facebook: http://on.wsj.com/HlHSVz). Amazon started out as an online store. Now it’s – the world’s largest online store. Yes, there’s a lesson in here for you:
The Basic Rules of Successful Entrepreneurship:
1. Don’t lose sight of your vision and the original impetus that drove you to what you needed to do
2. Pivoting is ok and usually your users will steer you towards what they want. It might be something you yourself didn’t see initially. Listen and learn
3. If you’ve captured a loyal and growing market, product refinement is fine, but don’t do a 180. When you change the game, you also risk losing your audience but not to worry – another company will come along and fill that need and we’ve no doubt that there are already several next generation FBs in the works. Yahoo was once #1 and seemingly unbeatable in search. Too.
4. Feature v bug. Having a Phase 2 and/or 3 in the wings is fine. Make sure it’s a logical progression of Phase 1. Your users are there for a reason: make sure you add something that really is a feature rather than something that’s sure to bug – them.
5. Everything in its time. Don’t do more, faster. Do more, better – and do it the right way. (Groupon: You Must Have Fallen From The Sky: http://bit.ly/HhkucO
6. And from Lawrence Lenihan: Ethics and Integrity, and remember: reputation is everything – http://bit.ly/HCVRJl
Entrepreneurs start companies because we see a need and it’s usually something we ourselves need. That’s when passion takes over and drives us to defy the time/space continuum and somehow fit 36 hours into a 24 hour day. We build; we refine; we add, we innovate. Sometimes we create an Instagram, but that’s the exception. We personally used to have google as our home page and at least a couple of facebook sessions open at any given time. Now we rarely use google and facebook is there for friends’ events. Amazon hasn’t changed its look much since day one, yet it is still the go-to destination for online shopping. When he started the company, Jeff Bezos said it would take five years for Amazon to become profitable. At the time, he was literally the laughingstock of technology for daring to go up against Barnes & Noble. Five years later…True, he doesn’t get headlines unless he happens to find a space ship engine on the ocean floor. But he built a great product, and the right way: slowly and steadily and eye on the prize. Onward and forward.
MassChallenge, deadline April 11th. This is the largest-ever startup accelerator and competition, and the first to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs with no strongs attached.
3 month accelerator program. World-class mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding, media and more.
$1M in cash awards. $4M+ in-kind support.
Open to all. Any startup can enter, from anywhere, in any industry.
No equity taken. No restrictions applied.
$1M in cash awards. $4M+ in-kind support.
For more information and to apply: http://masschallenge.org/
NEW GE/OMD 2012 Incubator, deadline April 12th Free mentorship and workspace, $4000 stipend, no equity taken, and a chance to win $10,000. For more information and to apply: http://geomdincubator.com/2012program
Wall Street Journal Codethon April 13-15 at NYU Law School, and to attend you must apply and be accepted. We’d love to have a good turnout from the NY developer community. More details, a brief application, etc. are available at our site: http://datatransparency.wsj.com/
Turnstone is giving away $25K worth of office furniture, deadline April 15th. Pretty amazing opportunity for a small company. Additional details of the contest can be found here: http://myturnstone.com/contest/. This contest is national. The video should be about why you want a great space to work in and what this makeover would do for you and your company – and this contest is national!
New York Entrepreneur Week starts April 16thAre you an entrepreneur in practice or at heart? There’s only on place to be this April 16-20. New York Entrepreneur Week. You owe it to yourself to recharge, refuel and refocus your purpose. Use code: StartupOneStop for 15% off
NEW The AT&T and Baruch College Fast Pitch Competition, deadline extended to April 16th. To enter the competition, visit http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/attpitch and receive a promo code for free access to developer API’s from AT&T. More information under: I Can Help
3rd Annual NYC Startup Job Fair, Friday, April 20th, 2012
1:00 – 2:30 pm Engineers/Developers Only
2:30 – 5:00 pm All Candidates
World Trade Center 7 (250 Greenwich St)
Free – Limited Tickets – Registration Required
This is the third annual NYC Startup Job Fair. The companies present are some of NYC’s top startups. Last year’s event held 40 startups and this year we’ve moved to a larger venue so that we can include more startups. It’s a great chance to talk with and learn more about opportunities with NYC startups.
NEW Founders Institute Israel, deadline April 22nd. It’s the world’s largest idea-stage incubator, founded by our friend Adeo Ressi. Through its four month idea-stage incubator program, you can launch your dream company with expert training, feedback, and support from experienced startup CEOs, while not being required to quit your day job. To apply: http://bit.ly/zoHyNa
Wayra UK Startup Accelerator, deadline, April 22nd. Telefónica has announced the UK launch of its technology accelerator programme. Wayra is inviting technology startups to apply to receive up to €50,000 (£42,000) investment and access to a new shared workspace in Tottenham Court Road. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/xeugnmThinking about applying to ERA Summer 2012 class? Application deadline: April 29th! To apply to join the the ER Accelerator summer class: http://eranyc.com/apply/
ERA is now accepting applications for Summer 2012! Application deadline: April 29th Yes, it’s here in NYC, with access to world-class mentors, office space, and more. Each company receives $25,000/8% equity. And we’re one of the mentors! For more information and to apply: http://eranyc.com/apply/
The Second Annual User Experience Awards are here! Submission deadline May 1st. The User Experience Awards aim to honor and celebrate outstanding UX projects and practitioners. The UX Awards are produced in partnership with IXDA NY, NYC Chapter of the UPA and NYC-CHI and culminate with an Awards Ceremony on June 12 in NYC. We’re actively seeking submissions from UX professionals for this year’s Awards! If you think you’ve worked on a project in the last two years that shows great user experience in terms of the final product or the process you followed, please submit your project, app, software, website, or even strategy to UserExperienceAwards.com by May 1 2012! Enter to win cash prizes, press, PR and community recognition! Full details of the submission process can be found on http://userexperienceawards.com/
NEW Hacker School: Summer 2012 Applications Open, deadline May 7th: http://bit.ly/Inm9fo. It will run from June 4 to August 25. The batch will be hosted at Etsy, which is also sponsoring $50,000 worth of scholarships for female programmers (Hacker School remains free for all students; the scholarship money is for living expenses). We’re trying to make this batch at least 50% women. For more information: http://bit.ly/Ilm8fm
Blueprint Health: Transform health & wellnesswith your startup, deadline June 8th. Blueprint Health is a startup accelerator based in New York City that helps entrepreneurs improve the health and wellness industry. We offer an intensive three-month program and provide $20,000 of seed capital, extensive mentorship and a shared work environment to help entrepreneurs go from idea to prototype and provide access to angel and venture capital investors. For more information and to apply: http://www.blueprinthealth.org/
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For you edification this week:
Speaking of Yahoo layoffs – Sh*t major tech companies say, when they lay off thousands of employees. It’s not that management screwed up or wrong decisions were made. The companies are merely taking a step towards a better future. http://tnw.co/IhrC7Z
Ideas are just a multiplier of execution. How much equity is an idea worth? Ideas are a multiplier. An execution can be worth millions. Here’s a simple formula for you: http://sivers.org/multiply
Fall in Love with Your Business, Not Your Business Plan. According to the author, business plans are completely useless, just mostly so. And sometimes, they’re even dangerous. Here’s why: http://bit.ly/HsQlcK
Universal Startup Pitch Deck. You get 5 seconds per slide. Just finish the end of the sentence. GO: http://bit.ly/Hs7iAO
The Perfect (Elevator) Pitch. Oldie but goodie. You have 118 seconds. Learn to use them wisely: http://buswk.co/2cFUg9
Things To Consider Before Saying “I Do” To Investors. Investors do their due diligence before saying yes. Entrepreneurs need to do the same: http://tcrn.ch/HpWzvL
The internet is under attack by government again. Be vigilant:
Save the Internet from the US. Right now, the US Congress is sneaking in a new law that gives them big brother spy powers over the entire web, the world over — and they’re hoping the world won’t notice. We helped stop their Net attack last time, let’s do it again. http://bit.ly/HoK8kk
And yes, SOPA is back, thanks to ultimate Washington insider, former Senator and consummate lobbyist Chris Dodd still a lobbyist? http://bit.ly/HAd2rE
Five Great Things About Procrastination. Your procrastinating is telling you something. Read, listen and learn: http://tcrn.ch/HmGM0t
How VCs Can Accelerate Portfolio Company Returns. There’s a survey here, for both investors and entrepreneurs. Take a few minutes to respond. It may help us all in the long run: http://bit.ly/GYgsqw
We leave you with this interesting bit of trivia. Taxes are due April 17th this year, which coincidentally is Tax Freedom Day, which means every day Americans worked so far this year — the first 107 days of 2012 – went to paying federal, state, and local taxes. That’s four days later than it was last year, btw. And now, as always, help is on the way…